Restoration of natural infiltration to groundwater

Hydro Morphology
The complete description of the NWRM: 

Groundwater is the part of infiltrated water which composes the water resource for population and human activities.  Previous modifications of the landscape have reduced the infiltration capacity of many European soils, thereby limiting the rate at which precipitation is able to infiltrate and recharge groundwater aquifers. Restoration of natural infiltration to groundwater enables a lowering of run-off from surrounding land, and enhances the condition of groundwater aquifers and water availability. The natural cleaning processes associated with infiltration can improve water quality. This measure can also be known as “Artificial Groundwater Recharge” in the engineering literature.

Mechanisms to restore or enhance natural infiltration capacity include:

(i) surface structures to facilitate/augment recharge (such as soakaways and infiltration basins);

(ii) subsurface indirect recharge – infiltration capacity is enhanced through wells drilled within the unsaturated zone; and

(iii) subsurface direct recharge – infiltration and recharge of the groundwater aquifer is accomplished through wells reaching the saturated zone.


Explicative scheme of enhanced infiltration (UK)


Possible benefits with level: 
Benefitssort descending Level
BP1 - Store runoff Low
BP2 - Slow runoff Medium
BP6 - Increase infiltration and/or groundwater recharge High
BP7 - Increase soil water retention Medium
BP9 - Intercept pollution pathways Low
BP10 - Reduce erosion and/or sediment delivery Low
ES1 - Water storage Medium
ES5 - Climate change adaptation and mitigation Low
ES6 - Groundwater/aquifer recharge Medium
ES7 - Flood risk reduction Low
ES8 - Erosion/sediment control Low
ES13 - Geological resources High
PO5 - Improving quantitative status Medium
PO8 - Prevent groundwater status deterioration Medium
PO9 - Take adequate and co-ordinated measures to reduce flood risks Low
Last updated: 09 Jun 2015 | Top